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Journal of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons 1999;26(3):360-365.
Published online May 1, 1999.
Distally-Based Sural Artery Flap.
Dong Gul Lee, Dong Hun Lee, Jung Hyung Lee, Byung Chae Cho, Bong Soo Baik
Reconstruction of soft tissue defect with exposure of the tendons and bone in the lower third of the leg and the heel represents a challenge to plastic surgeons. The sural artery flap is a fasciocutaneous flap supplied by the sural artery that accompanies the sural nerve and connects with a septocutaneous perforator of the peroneal artery via a suprafascial network of vessels. For the coverage of soft tissue defects, we operated on 10 patients using a distally-based sural artery flap. The sites of the soft tissue defect were the lower third of the leg in 7 cases and the heel in 3 cases. The size of flap varied from 3.5x4cm to 12x18cm. Nine of 10 flaps survived completely. One flap in which the sural nerve was preserved showed partial necrosis but healed spontaneously. Two flaps showed slightly venous congestion which disappeared after a few days. The advantages of the sural flap are a reliable blood supply, easy and quick elevation of the flap, preservation of the major artery and minimal donor site morbidity. The disadvantage of the flap is hypoesthesia at the lateral part of the foot. In conclusion, the distally-based sural artery flap can be used safely for soft tissues coverage in the lower third of the leg and the heel.
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